In the busy, performance-driven workplaces of today, it is easy for employees to find themselves under constant stress. Stress found in the workplace can affect not only employees’ work product but also their mental and physical health. While workplace stress is common, companies can do more to reduce employees’ stress and create a healthier environment.
Millennials and Generation Zs, in particular, see value in businesses offering solutions to help them manage stress. According to a recent survey from TIME magazine, Millennials and Gen Zs are considered more anxious than previous generations. The importance of stress management has generated multiple studies, each finding that workplace stress has significantly increased over the past few decades.
That said, each person handles stress differently. Some employees thrive in an ever-changing environment that requires them to be great multitaskers. Others are unable to handle an environment that focuses on strict timelines.
Regardless, company leaders need to be open to discussing workplace stress in order to handle it in a healthy and effective way, especially as new generations enter the workforce. Below are some additional tactics companies can implement to better manage stress among employees:
Transfer of Knowledge
While the majority of Baby Boomers are still in the workforce, more and more approach retirement age every year. On the other end of the spectrum, Gen Zs are entering the workforce. Unlike Baby Boomers, Gen Z was raised on the Internet and social media, making them the most tech-savvy generation in the workforce. However, there is something to be said about the experience Baby Boomers have and how they can use this knowledge to help younger generations.
Oftentimes, a major source of stress for younger generations is not fully understanding the company or the industry. More experienced employees can help alleviate that stress by sharing their knowledge with newer workers.
Companies can support this knowledge transfer through mentorship programs. These one-on-one programs are free to the employer and provide participants with the opportunity to learn from one another. Gen Z employees can gather more information about their job and the company, as well as gain additional insight into the overall industry.
Encourage Conversations with Managers
Stress is inevitable in the workplace and can affect nearly everyone at some point in his or her career. Workers in each generation have learned different ways to manage stress, which can cause friction within companies. Because each generation reacts to and approaches stress differently, it is important for businesses to adapt their communication styles to help alleviate stress. For example, managers should have regularly scheduled check-ins with employees to learn about their growth, development, and stress management.
As technology advances, many companies are seeing the benefit of implementing additional communication tools to help increase productivity and efficiency. For younger generations who grew up with social media and the Internet, many have found these tools helpful when communicating with a superior or manager.
However, Baby Boomers have found more success when having a face-to-face conversation during a check-in. When looking to implement communication technology into your company, it is important to choose tools that will help increase productivity and communication with managers.
Promote Healthy Living
Daily stress can cause a multitude of problems for your employees in and out of the workplace. For Millennials and Gen Zs, many are looking for companies that promote health and wellness during their job search. In addition, they are searching for companies that offer additional benefits such as flexible work arrangements and fitness reimbursements.
More experienced generations, who entered the workforce when a workplace perk was a coffee machine, are starting to realize how flexible working hours and mental health days can benefit them. By implementing these workforce perks into your organization, you can help all generations lead mentally and physically healthier lifestyles.
It is important for companies to realize there is no cookie-cutter solution to reduce workplace stress. Something that works for one company may not work for another. The same goes for people: Something that works for one employee may not work for another.
Both employers and employees need to be open to the idea of creating a new culture to attract the best talent and reduce stress for the people in their existing workforce. By transferring knowledge from one generation to the next, encouraging communication between employees and managers and the promotion of healthy living, organizations can create a happy and healthy workforce.
|Andrea Meyer joined WorkSmart Systems in 2001 and has played a key role in the development of all services related to WorkSmart employee benefit plans. Whether leading the benefit team, answering questions from employees, or sorting through the latest benefit regulation, Meyer’s passion for employee benefits is evident. Meyer is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), as well as a Certified Benefit Professional (CBP).|
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